As [Jesus and his disciples] were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. (Matthew: 20:29-30)
At last week’s Quiet Day, on the eve of Advent (December 2), Veronica McDermott began her talk with reference to this reading of the day from the Daily Office. She noted the contrast between the crowd—who quickly told the two blind men to be quiet—and Jesus. He “stood still,” being quiet himself, and then moved to listening mode.
She proceeded to reflect on how the most effective advocacy in her own field (education) springs not from the desire to parachute into a situation and start making fast and spectacular changes, but from listening to the people who are most closely involved with it, and staying the course with them over time.
In the process, we grow more aware of our motives, our hopes and fears, and capacities. Perhaps, too, our impatience.
Concluding her talk, Veronica offered this way to proceed as we ponder on any talk … sermon… life situation… gospel passage….
How is this a window? In what ways might it open up new vistas for you, bring you to a different place, see things from a different point of view?
You will discover new insights with both these approaches. Together, they can be exciting. Try it!